Reflecting an increase in imports and a decrease in exports, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showed the U.S. trade deficit widened in the month of August.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $53.2 billion in August from a revised $50.0 billion in July.
Economists had expected the trade deficit to widen to $53.5 billion from the $50.1 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider trade deficit came as the value of imports climbed by 0.6 percent to $262.7 billion, while the value of exports slid by 0.8 percent to $209.4 billion.
The report showed notable increases in imports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and cell phones and other household goods.
Meanwhile, significant decreases in exports of soybeans, crude oil and other petroleum products were partly offset by increases in exports of drugs and artwork, antiques, stamps, and other collectibles.
The Commerce Department also said the goods deficit widened to $76.7 billion in August from $73.2 billion in July, while the services surplus rose to $23.5 billion from $23.1 billion.
Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the trade data suggests “net trade is on track to be a substantial drag on GDP growth in the third quarter, which we expect will come in at 3.0% annualized.”